The Red Sox played the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night, and in the fifth inning Big Papi yanked a two-run home run off pitcher Dylan Bundy. At this point, any homer from Ortiz should be lovingly cherished, but this one was special. It was his 35th of the year, and he became the oldest player ever to hit 35 home runs in a season, setting the single-season record for homers hit by a player 40 or older.
Until Monday night, Darrell Evans held that record — he hit 35 homers with the Detroit Tigers back in 1987, when he was 40. Behind Evans is Raul Ibanez, who hit 29 homers in 2013 at age 41.
The Yahoo Sports’ MLB Free Game of the Day just happens to be Red Sox-Orioles, so you can watch David Ortiz try to add to his impressive home run total when the game starts at 7:05 p.m. ET. You can stream it free on Yahoo’s Sports Home, MLB index, video home and this very post. Local blackouts apply, per MLB rules.
Ortiz is having a phenomenal year, and it’s one of the best of his career. He’s hitting .317/.403/.630, and the last time he hit near .317 was his injury-shortened 2012. Before that? 2007. His slugging percentage hasn’t been this high since 2006. In fact, he’s first in all of baseball in slugging, and he’s fifth in on-base percentage. He’s tied for first in doubles with 47, and his 118 RBI put him in third place. Don’t forget: he’s 40 years old.
Big Papi has said numerous times that he’s definitely going to retire and he won’t reconsider, so I won’t ask him to. But I wouldn’t be surprised if a player named Smavid Smortiz shows up on the Red Sox next season and hits 30 home runs. We can hope, right?